Dover is a long-running exploration of the quintessential British types. It is an attempt at historical design fiction: what if Caslon and Gill Sans had been designed by the same person? What if that person were me?
It may seem a bit arrogant, but every revival, digitisation, homage, re-evaluation, cover version, new arrangement, translation is a new version of the old thing, the same but different. With that mindset, anyone should be able to make new interpretations. Similarly, the validity of a Dutch designer rewriting English classics might be questionable, but at the same time an outsider sees things with different eyes.
I started properly exploring the various sources in early 2012. A range of prints from very large Caslons, idiosyncratic design variations within the different point sizes of the lead Gill Sans, a few scans from the Haas Caslons (courtesy of Kai Bernau) for text, Penguin book covers – it covered a wide gamut of reference. I mixed all of this with the vague notion of what they were ‘supposed’ to look like, and a few months later scrapped it all to start over.
Functionally, Dover Display is a family for headline work and up. It sets relatively wide, with a tall x-height that is unified among the styles. It includes all sorts of numbers, dingbats and diacritics, supporting more languages than I am currently certain of.
Dover is a display-only family of four styles: Display Serif regular and italic, and Display Sans regular and italic. It’s available from my foundry, the Tiny Type Co. Check it out, explore the specimen, buy it here.